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PUBLIC OPINION

Support for 15-M protest movement grows, says new opinon poll

Major two parties PP and Socialists seen losing dozens of seats in Congress in electoral survey

Two years after the 15-M protest movement blossomed, public sympathy for the protest organization continues to grow, according to a poll conducted for EL PAÍS.

The survey by Metroscopia shows that Spaniards believe that 15-M, which sprouted in 2011, was a spontaneous movement that continues to have solid public backing as a peaceful protest drive.

Of the 14,000 people interviewed, 63 percent said they support the movement — a figure similar to that of two years ago and somewhat higher than that of 2012, a few months after the Popular Party (PP) landslide election victory. Support for the protests was higher among Socialist voters that those who support the PP, and among younger respondents.

Socialist dichotomy

The 87-percent support among Socialist supporters gives a clear idea of the dichotomy between the party’s own institutions and those issues its members feel more comfortable protesting about, such as the causes of the ongoing crisis.

The challenge facing any future Socialist candidate will be precisely to try to recover support for a party that has mainly been lost to the spontaneous social protest movements. Nevertheless, the origin of the peaceful protest has been blurred with the passage of time, but its supporters believe that it has become useful in demonstrating against the financial system, evictions and in questioning the institutional structures.

But so far it has not become a clear institutional policy option. A total of 78 percent of those polled say that the so-called “indignant ones” have good reason to protest, while four percent say they have doubts about the movement itself.

In terms of the ballot box, many more Spaniards would vote for the UPyD party and United Left (IU) coalition if the elections were held today. In a poll taken by Metroscopia, the PP would lose 47 seats in Congress, while 20 seats would be taken from the Socialists.

Either major party would need the UPyD and IU to form a governing coalition, according to the survey.

New younger voters, who claim to have negative feelings about the future, say they feel the furthest removed from Spain’s political and social institutions and are opting for a new model of government.

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